Advertisement

For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

Matthew 5:1-12; The Beatitudes (Historical Backgrounds)

Jesus’ final beatitude (Matthew 5:11-12) differs from the earlier ones in its specificity and personal application. Up to this point, Jesus has used general pronouns as the object of blessing. For instance, “blessed are those…blessed are they…” Beginning in verse 11, though, his teaching shifts to the personal pronoun, “you,”—a direct reference that included his twelve apostles, each person in the large crowd of listeners and, by extension, you and me today.

It’s important to note that this final beatitude promises great suffering for Jesus’ followers: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (verse 11).

Jesus didn’t say “if people insult you…” but “when people insult you…” The message is clear: undeserved hardship is an expected part of the Christian life. It’s rare to find anyone today who would be willing to “name and claim” this promise of God, but Jesus’ followers experienced it nonetheless. Consider what happened to each of Jesus’ original disciples (minus Judas the betrayer, who killed himself):

• Andrew: Crucified on an X-shaped cross.

• Bartholomew: Flayed alive with knives until he died.

• James (son of Alphaeus): Sawed to pieces.

• James (son of Zebedee): Beheaded.

• John: Poisoned (but miraculously survived). Boiled in oil (but miraculously survived). Imprisoned, in his old age, on the island of Patmos, where “men worked chained to their slave barrows” in the marble mines.

• Matthew (Levi): Died a martyr while preaching in Ethiopia.

• Peter: Crucified upside down.

• Philip: Hanged to death.

• Simon (the Zealot): Sawed in half.

• Thaddaeus (Jude): Martyred while preaching in Persia.

• Thomas: Speared to death.

This teaching of Jesus, and its subsequent fulfillment in the lives of the Apostles, leaves us with one question that must be answered by each follower of Christ today: What will you do with this difficult promise of God?

 

Works Cited:

[NAS, 1277–1280; WWW, 211]

 

ΩΩΩ

About: For Bible Study Nerds™

About: Mike Nappa

Copyright © 2014 to present by Nappaland Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Previous Posts

Bible Resource Spotlight: The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs and Curiosities
Reader Appeal: Pastors, Students, Nerds Genre: Bible Reference FBSN Rating: A   Don’t be deceived by the “pocket” size of George Knight’s book, The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs and Curiosities. Sure, it looks small compared to the thick commentaries and weighty diction

posted 12:00:16pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Bible Resource Spotlight: Discovering Romans
Reader Appeal: Pastors, Small Group Leaders Genre: Bible Commentary / Sermons FBSN Rating: B+   When S. Lewis Johnson was a college man in the 1930s, he had little interest in God, let alone in preaching the Bible. All he cared about was golf. He competed in many amateur tournaments

posted 12:00:15pm Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Bible Resource Spotlight: 30 Events That Shaped the Church
Reader Appeal: Bible Students, Pastors, Pew-Sitters Genre: Christian History FBSN Rating: A   It’s rare to find a book that could appeal to both a Bible Study Nerd and the average pew-sitter, but Alton Gansky has made one anyway. 30 Events that Shaped the Church takes a unique

posted 12:00:14pm Mar. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:27-34; Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute (Cultural Commentary)
Who is the “prince of demons” referenced in Matthew 9:34? Jesus’ enemies were pretty familiar with that guy—so much so that they felt confident accusing Christ of being his evil pawn. So who were they talking about? The “prince of demons” was a title for a high-ranking, fallen angel d

posted 12:00:59pm Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:27-34; Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute (Word Studies)
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Jesus is recorded asking two blind men in Matthew 9:27-30. When they responded, “Yes Lord,” he said, “According to your faith will it be done for you.” And their sight was instantly restored! That’s a lot riding on one little word, “Fait

posted 12:00:58pm Mar. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.